On Friday, NPR’s All Things Considered played up the hard-fought race to defeat Rep. Michele Bachmann for re-election after she ran for president. Reporter David Welna explained “Bachmann may be best known for her stridently conservative worldview and controversial remarks, but also her ability to raise huge amounts of money by congressional standards.” She reported raising a whopping $4.5 million in the last quarter.
So it was more than a bit surprising that NPR would shamelessly report on...an NPR icon/star who was holding a fundraiser for Democrat Jim Graves, who’s the latest hope to defeat Bachmann. But there was Garrison Keillor playing politics at his own residence:
WELNA: Garrison Keillor, host of the popular radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," sees off a couple attending a Graves fundraiser at his St. Paul home. Keillor grew up in Bachmann's district. He's confident Graves is the man to replace her.
KEILLOR: I think that Jim is making a good case that she's been doing her own business for two years, at least. And maybe she ought not to do that on the public payroll.
From there, they talked about resentment that Bachmann ran for president from her House seat. (This is something nobody at NPR cared about when Barack Obama did it.) On the Jim Graves website (where they promise to end her "McCarthy-style witch hunt"), there was this invitation from Keillor in June:
Please join me on a bus heading up to Avon on Wednesday, June 27, for supper at Fisher’s Club on Middle Spunk Lake, in support of Jim Graves. Jim is taking on Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s Sixth District.
We’ll leave from my studio (611 Fontenac Place, St. Paul, MN 55104) at 5:00 PM and enjoy supper on the deck at Fisher’s. We’ll hear a few remarks from the candidate, enjoy the fellowship of some Stearns County Democrats in this old 1930s era roadhouse founded by St. Louis Cardinals slugger George (“Showboat”) Fisher in 1932, and still be back home by 10 p.m.
En route, in our comfortable coach, we’ll get to watch a spectacular film about Minnesota’s Happy Warrior, Hubert H. Humphrey.
Donations of $500 are encouraged. Please mark your calendar and join us Wednesday, June 27th in Avon, MN.
This has been a bit of a secular-progressive crusade for Keillor, who thinks Bachmann is "embarrassing to me and a great many Minnesotans." He also funded failed Bachmann challengers Tarryl Clark and Patty Wetterling.
Keillor's public radio program airs on NPR stations across the country, but is distributed by American Public Media, a nonprofit based in St. Paul.